31st July 2007
UPS gives marriage benefits to civil partners 1
10:50 AM — Delivery company UPS has announced it will offer health care benefits to all civil union partners of employees in New Jersey, including those in the Teamsters union.Gay rights groups had criticised the company for denying some employees in same-sex partnerships the same rights as married workers."Based on an initial legal review when New Jersey's law was enacted, it did not appear that a 'civil union' and 'marriage' were equivalent," noted UPS's senior vice president for human resources.
Hong Kong opens China’s first gay centre 1
10:10 AM — A new chapter in the slow opening up of China started this month with the opening of a new social support centre for the gay community in Hong Kong.The centre is the first of its kind in the country.This was made possible with a one-year grant of HK$430,000 (£26,750) from the AIDS Trust Fund. The donation will pay the rent for the premises and support one full time staff member for one year.
30th July 2007
Mexican prisoners allowed gay conjugal visits
5:31 PM — Mexico City's prison system has started letting gay inmates receive conjugal visits, a human rights group announced yesterday.City authorities accepted a recommendation made by the Mexican National Human Rights Commission, agreeing that the visits would help end discrimination.Prisoners are allowed conjugal visits in many Mexican jails, and most do not require the visitor to be married to the inmate.
Protest over gay kiss arrest in Rome 10
12:12 PM — Couples held a sit-in with collective kissing in front of the Colosseum yesterday after two men were arrested for 'public indecency' in front of the iconic Roman monument last week.Politicians and campaigning groups say the arrests were symptomatic of a rising tide of homophobic harassment in Italy, but the police force, the Carabinieri, say they were simply following the law.An extract from the police report said that the couple "had their trousers and underpants down."
Focus on male-male sex in global AIDS fight 1
11:58 AM — amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, has announced the launch of a new global initiative to fight the spread of HIV among men who have sex with men (MSM) in the developing world.Stigma, discrimination, and lack of access to health services have sparked alarming epidemics that threaten to devastate MSM communities in Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, and Latin America, mirroring the HIV pandemics that ravaged gay communities in North America and Western Europe in the 1980s.
Georgia’s homophobia exposed in row over “gay” rally
11:50 AM — Organisers of a rally celebrating diversity and tolerance in the eastern European country of Georgia were forced to call off the event after it was falsely reported as a gay Pride parade.The rally, part of the Council of Europe 'All Different, All Equal' diversity and human rights campaign, was cancelled when organisers, Georgian human rights group Century 21, received abusive telephone calls, emails and threats of violence.The abuse started after Georgian paper Alia reported that "pederasts" were getting ready for a parade in the capital, Tbilisi.
Lesbian candidate fails to win seat in Japan
11:35 AM — A 32-year-old woman who brought the issue of gay rights to prominence in Japanese society has failed in her bid to be elected to the country's parliament.Kanako Otsuji, 32, had conducted a colourful and positive campaign for office, at one stage holding a marriage ceremony with her partner.She was a candidate for the Democratic Party of Japan, who took control of the upper house in a crushing election defeat for Prime Minister Shinze Abe.
Alan Cumming honoured for gay rights work
10:58 AM — Lambda Legal Defence and Education Fund in the United States will present its 15h Annual Liberty Awards on October 2nd at the Director's Guild of America in Los Angeles.This year's celebrated honorees include actor Alan Cumming, for his distinguished career and as an LGBT activist and champion for civil marriage equality.Actress and designer Honey Labrador will host the event.
27th July 2007
Straight people to protest homophobia at Amsterdam Pride 1
4:31 PM — Amsterdam's Pride is one of the biggest in the world. The highlight of the weekend is the famous Canal Parade on Saturday afternoon.Where most parades use trucks, Amsterdam has 100 spectacularly decorated boats.This year, for the first time, a 'hetero' boat will take part, as a protest against the rise in homophobic attacks in the Netherlands in recent months.
Hungarian PM calls Pride attacks “outrageous”
2:11 PM — The Prime Minister of Hungary, Ferenc Gyurcsány, has said he utterly condemns people who pelted a gay Pride in Budapest with eggs and attacked revellers.On Saturday 10th July skinheads and fascists massed along the 7km (4.3 mile) route of the march for gay rights.They threw eggs and bottles filled with sand at the marchers. Later that evening almost a dozen gay people were set upon and beaten.
Massachusetts gay marriage rights extend to out-of-staters
1:41 PM — Same-sex couples from the US state of New Mexico can get married in Massachusetts, state officials ruled this month, after determining that gay marriage had not been explicitly banned in New Mexico.Massachusetts is the only US state to have legalised same-sex marriage. A gay rights group from the state asked officials to clarify the rules for out-of-state couples.Along with Rhode Island, New Mexico is the only other US state that has not explicitly either banned or allowed same-sex unions.
Activists target UN General Secretary over gay rights
1:35 PM — Protesters ambushed UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon as he spoke in San Fransisco last night, demanding he break the UN's silence on lesbian, gay and bisexual rights around the world.Standing on their seats, the protesters, holding a sign reading 'Gay rights are UNiversal' chanted: "Break the silence, talk about gays."
Lesbian athlete sets world record
10:45 AM — It was a cool overcast day in San Francisco, but that did not stop the nearly 120 Gay Track and Field competitors of all ages and levels from performing their best at the first ever large scale international event of it's kind.While many athletes excelled in their individual sports, the standout performer was 65 year old Marie-Louise Michelsohn from New York who set a new world record in her age group for the 5000 metres with a time of 20:27.08.
Executed Iranians may have been gay 14
10:27 AM — Expatriate Iranian sources are reporting that some of the 16 peoplehanged last week, labelled 'the most famous hooligans in Tehran', were executed for being gay.Islamic law states that all sexual acts outside of a heterosexualmarriage - referred to as sodomy - are forbidden.As part of a wide-ranging crackdown on 'indecent behaviour', policearrested over 1000 men in May in poor districts around Tehran.
26th July 2007
Ohio’s landmark ruling on same-sex domestic abuse
2:20 PM — Domestic violence laws in the US state of Ohio do not conflict with its same-sex marriage ban, the state Supreme Court ruled yesterday.The judges rejected the argument that domestic violence law was unenforceable in cases not involving married couples, because the law refers to 'spouses.'Chief Justice Thomas Moyer said that lawmakers included several groups under the domestic violence law.
Translating machine to replace sacked gay linguists 2
11:23 AM — After firing 60 Arabic translators for being gay under the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' law, the US military has been forced to rely on an untested translating machine, it emerged this week.US National Institute of Standards and Technology researchers are now testing a prototype, real-time, two-way translation system to meet the shortfall of translators in Iraq, where linguistic misunderstandings can be fatal.
Gay man to write tell-all book about NY Yankees
11:10 AM — In 1998 former New York Yankees baseball team's club house attendant Paul Priore brought a $50m lawsuit against the club and some the members stating that he had been sexually harassed and was fired for being a homosexual.Priore lost his suit when the Yankees showed that he was actually fired for stealing from the locker room, but he is now planning on writing a tell-all book about his homophobic abuse, which allegedly includes a steam room scene between players Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada.
Pressure on mayor in robo-toilet row 2
10:58 AM — The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has condemned Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle for the divisive and defamatory terminology he has used to describe the gay community.The New York-based organisation also stood with residents of Fort Lauderdale as well as members of various local and national organisations as they gathered yesterday to speak out against the Mayor's offensive comments.
25th July 2007
Malta teachers take on Roman Catholic homophobia 6
4:18 PM — Malta's Union of Teachers is threatening to publish the details of four attempts to oust gay and lesbian teachers from Roman Catholic school posts, unless the government launches an independent inquiry into sexual orientation discrimination.According to the union, Church schools were under pressure from parents to fire the teachers, leading to four interventions in the past five years.Students even scrawled insults on one teacher's chalkboard, according to John Bencini, President of the union.
Microchip tracking scheme for HIV+ people condemned
2:40 PM — Health officials in Papua, Indonesia, are "outraged" over proposals to implant microchips in people with HIV/AIDS to monitor their sexual activity.The Legislative Council of the province is deliberating a by-law allowing authorities to monitor the actions of patients with 'high risk behaviour' using a detection device.Parliamentarians have also reportedly discussed tattooing people carrying the virus.